WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Late-night talk show hosts are bashing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney much more than President Barack Obama and his Democratic colleagues.
A recent study conducted by The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University reveals that Romney has been the butt of more jokes than all Democratic candidates combined this election season. In fact, since the start of the party conventions, Romney has been the target of 148 jokes, just over twice President Obama’s number of 62, coming in second.
Even between party lines themselves, the GOP’s count of 290 jokes was more than double the 138 for the Democratic Party.
“The Late Show with David Letterman” saw the largest gap between the presidential candidates with a five to one margin, but in addition to Letterman, Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, and Jimmy Fallon all told fractionally more Romney-targeted jokes.
This disparity is not new to comedians.
In the 2008 presidential election, then-Sen. Obama was subject to 243 jokes, coming into fourth place behind candidate John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin, along with President George W. Bush.
Television comedies have proven to be one of the most used sources among voters for retrieving information on the presidential election, and humor certainly allows viewers to become more engaged in politics while simultaneously garnering a well-informed audience. However, the jokes leave a lasting impression, and a disproportionate representation can take away from a person’s ability to view the balanced story.
The emphasis placed on entertainment value is here to stay, and as of right now, Romney continues to poll high in comedic material.
As said by CMPA President Dr. Robert Lichter, “Romney is leading in the humor race, but being the biggest joke is a race nobody wants to win.”